Basement Drying >> How To Keep Moisture Out Of Your Basement

TIPS FOR DRYING OUT A WATER-DAMAGED BUILDING F. Mitchener Wilds, Senior Restoration Specialist
 Once a building has been exposed to a large volume of water, either floodwater or rainwater, steps must be taken to dry the building out, assess damage, and How To Keep Moisture Out Of Your Basement plan for repairs and restoration. This information sheet discusses concerns and procedures for helping structuresHow To Keep Moisture Out Of Your Basement  to dry out. Flooding may be quick, but drying out a building is a time consuming effort. Allowing natural How To Keep Moisture Out Of Your Basement ventilation and evaporation to work is better for the building than the using heated forced-air or air How To Keep Moisture Out Of Your Basement conditioning systems.
 
The rapid drying out of a historic building using How To Keep Moisture Out Of Your Basement hot air power drying systems can cause irreparable harm to significant features of the building. Before starting to dry out your building, make certain to address health and safety concerns. Safety must come first; do not endanger yourself, your family, or How To Keep Moisture Out Of Your Basement other occupants. Assume all power lines are live. Do not trust the fact that power may be off all over the neighborhood; turn off the power to your house. Check How To Keep Moisture Out Of Your Basement for the odor of leaking LP or natural gas and turn off these services. Be aware that floodwaters may be contaminated with sewage or animal waste and present a health How To Keep Moisture Out Of Your Basement hazard.
 
During clean up, protect eyes, mouth, and hands, and use disinfectants to wash hands before eating. How To Keep Moisture Out Of Your Basement If you are uncomfortable when entering your house and have any question regarding personal safety, do not go inside, but have a professional make an assessment. Make a photographic record before you begin to clean up the damage. How To Keep Moisture Out Of Your Basement Documentation of the damages will be beneficial when negotiating with insurance adjusters. Make temporary repairs to roofs and windows to prevent additional water from entering the building as you work to dry it out. Plan on temporary repairs lasting a minimum of How To Keep Moisture Out Of Your Basement six months. Temporary repair options include the use of tarpaulin, 30- or 90-pound felt paper, How To Keep Moisture Out Of Your Basement or plywood covered with tarpaper.
 
Water saturation affects a building in three ways: 1. Water How To Keep Moisture Out Of Your Basement causes direct damage to materials. Wallboard disintegrates; wood can swell, warp, or rot; electrical parts can short out, malfunction, and cause fires or shock. 2. Mud, silt, and unknown How To Keep Moisture Out Of Your Basement contaminants in the water get everything dirty and are unhealthy. Floodwater is more damaging than rainwater. 3. Dampness promotes the growth of moisture-related mold, mildew, and fungus that leads to dry How To Keep Moisture Out Of Your Basement rot. Efforts to promote natural and controlled drying out of the building should start at the attic. If How To Keep Moisture Out Of Your Basement the insulation is wet, remove it and dispose of properly.
 
 After being wet, most insulation is ineffective, but it How To Keep Moisture Out Of Your Basement will continue to hold moisture for a long time and will create high moisture conditions which will How To Keep Moisture Out Of Your Basement damage metal, masonry, and wood. Remove any water soaked items stored in the attic for treatment. The weight of water soaked boxes can cause cracking How To Keep Moisture Out Of Your Basement in the plaster ceilings of the floor below. Open windows and vents to allow fresh air to circulate. If your electrical system is safe and you have an attic fan, turn it on. As you enter How To Keep Moisture Out Of Your Basement rooms, inspect ceilings carefully.
 
Wet plaster and How To Keep Moisture Out Of Your Basement sheetrock are very heavy and can be a hazard. Be aware of bulging ceilings that may hold trapped water. If How To Keep Moisture Out Of Your Basement rainwater has collected in the ceiling, the rainwater will find it own route into the floors below. Collect water in buckets by poking holes at the edge of the bulging ceiling to release the water. How To Keep Moisture Out Of Your Basement Plaster responds to drying out much better than sheetrock; however, durability depends on the plaster mix, the original application, the degree of water saturation, placement, and the type of lath used. Plaster over metal How To Keep Moisture Out Of Your Basement lath is likely to require replacement. Wood lath may expand if saturated, causing the plaster keys to break. Check for loose plaster and plan to reattach it using plaster washers. Plaster ceilings can be temporarily shored by using 2x4s nailed How To Keep Moisture Out Of Your Basement together to form a "T", then wedging the top of the "T" to press plywood against the ceiling.
 
 Most plaster How To Keep Moisture Out Of Your Basement walls can be saved if damaged by clean rainwater. Drain water that may be held within the wall cavity by How To Keep Moisture Out Of Your Basement removing the baseboard and drilling holes through the plaster or sheetrock several inches above the floor. Use cordless or hand drills to avoid electrical shock and be careful to avoid wiring within the walls. Remove any insulation if wet via the baseboard How To Keep Moisture Out Of Your Basement removal and allow the wall cavity to dry out thoroughly. If sheetrock has been exposed to water for less than two hours, it can probably be repaired. If How To Keep Moisture Out Of Your Basement the sheetrock was exposed to floodwater for more than two hours, it will be saturated by contaminated How To Keep Moisture Out Of Your Basement water and require complete replacement.
 
 Open windows in all rooms, even if there is no evidence How To Keep Moisture Out Of Your Basement of moisture retention. If the windows are swollen shut, remove the inside stop bead to free window sash. How To Keep Moisture Out Of Your Basement The use of window fans will help draw fresh air through the building, helping to dry out wall cavities between interior and exterior walls. Wash down wood features, including trim, doors, mantels, and stairs, to remove mud and silt. Mold and mildew can be cleaned off using a weak solution How To Keep Moisture Out Of Your Basement of Clorox and water or commercially available disinfectant. Historic wallpapers require How To Keep Moisture Out Of Your Basement specialized treatment.
 
 Any features removed How To Keep Moisture Out Of Your Basement during the clean up should be labeled and saved for later reinstallation. Many significant features, such as trim, have been lost due to owners or contractors acting in haste to clean up. Remove wet carpets and furniture How To Keep Moisture Out Of Your Basement from the house. Drying out these items in the house only adds to the moisture level within the house. Remove sheet vinyl or linoleum flooring to allow for maximum How To Keep Moisture Out Of Your Basement evaporation. If wood How To Keep Moisture Out Of Your Basement floors are coated with mud, wash down with fresh water.
 
Floorboards may begin How To Keep Moisture Out Of Your Basement to warp as they dry, but further drying may bring the boards back to their original shape. The use of weights or shoring on the wood floors during the drying process may lessen How To Keep Moisture Out Of Your Basement the occurrence of severe warping and buckling. Remove vapor barriers and insulation from beneath the floor to allow for complete air circulation. Do not use heating, air conditioning, or How To Keep Moisture Out Of Your Basement other forced air to promote drying of wood floors. Rapid drying can promote cupping of the floorboards as the top surface dries out faster. Drying out floorboards may take How To Keep Moisture Out Of Your Basement several months.
 
 If the How To Keep Moisture Out Of Your Basement duct work has standing water, wash it out with clean water. Replace electrical receptacles if water levels reached high enough to cover them. If your basement is How To Keep Moisture Out Of Your Basement flooded, do not rush to pump it out. Draining the basement while the surrounding ground is saturated may How To Keep Moisture Out Of Your Basement create uneven pressure on the basement walls and floor resulting in cracking or collapse. Once water surrounding the house has drained off, lower the water level in the basement by twoHow To Keep Moisture Out Of Your Basement or three feet, mark the water line, and wait overnight. If the basement water level rises, then How To Keep Moisture Out Of Your Basement it is too early to fully pump out the basement.
 
If the water level How To Keep Moisture Out Of Your Basement is stable or lower, then pump out another two or three feet and again check the water level overnight. Water-damaged household furnishings including textiles, books, photographs, paintings, How To Keep Moisture Out Of Your Basement and furniture should receive proper treatment to minimize damage and ease repair and restoration. In general, wet mud should be rinsed off objects with clean water before air drying, How To Keep Moisture Out Of Your Basement but consultation with a conservator for specific guidance on the treatment of historic objects is strongly recommended. Remember that air circulation is the key to completely drying out a structure. Heaters or air conditioners should How To Keep Moisture Out Of Your Basement not force the drying process. If you force your building to dry too quickly, additional damage to the building elements will How To Keep Moisture Out Of Your Basement occur.

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